My Biggest Fear

“What is your biggest fear?” is a common question during ice breaker games and if you’re like me, you come up with something not even remotely close to the thing that sends you into near hysterics with every encounter. A fear of heights is usually what I use to deflect this jarring, irritating question that has no place in surface conversation. It’s not that I’m lying...I am afraid of heights, but it is definitely not my biggest fear.

If I’m completely honest, my biggest fear is me. Yep. I find myself absolutely terrifying and want to start convulsing in panicked hysterics when I consider all the destructive things I could do, say, or think.

I have a lot of fears and they all originate with me:

  1. I’m going to mess up my kids.

  2. I’m going to mess up my marriage

  3. I’m going to miss out on a fabulous, life changing opportunity because I was distracted, lazy, or napping.

  4. I’m going to end up friendless because of something I said, did or didn’t do….

  5. I’m going to waste my talent.

I’m too much, I’m not enough, I’m……

Fearing myself certainly plays into my art. The same doubts and anxiety about ability and motive plague me at all parts of the creative process. “Can I actually do what I said I could do for this commission?” “Am I creating this work for the right reasons or just to toot my own horn?” “I might just be a giant fake that will one day be found out and utterly humiliated.” Although these negative undertones never really stop me from creating, they certainly rob my joy if I dwell on them.

We are told to face our fears and this will help us overcome. When your biggest fear is yourself, how do you face that? It’s not like you can avoid encounters with yourself. How do I learn to deal with me?

Luckily, I know someone who does know how to deal with me. And when my fears regarding myself feel overwhelming and suffocating, I turn to the one who made me, well, me. “You are fearfully and wonderfully made…” He whispers. Every aspect of my personality, every flaw, strength, quirk….every experience that has shaped who I am has been designed very carefully by the One who knows me best and isn’t afraid of me at all. In fact, He thinks I’m good. Huh.

Maybe I’m not as scary as I thought. I will probably always have moments of fear when I have to face the raw truth of my being, but when those times come, I’ll just look to the Maker and I have a feeling that will give me courage to tackle the adventure that is me one more time.

Do you ever fear yourself? How does that play out for you? How do you face that fear?

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